Tech 2.0 for Monday, November 11, 2013
Amazon says it is teaming up with the U.S. Postal Service to deliver packages on Sundays. The Seattle company says Sunday delivery will be available to customers in the New York and Los Angeles metropolitan areas at first. Amazon and the Postal Service plan to roll out service to "a large portion of the U.S. population" next year, including Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, and Phoenix. Amazon expects Sunday delivery to be popular with members of its Prime service, which costs $79 a year and comes with free two-day shipping on many items on the site as well as access to Amazon's TV and movie streaming service. But Sunday delivery will be available to all Amazon customers. Shares of Amazon climbed $1.69 to $52 in morning trading.
Personal magazine creator Flipboard is expanding into shopping catalogs just in time for the holiday shopping season. A tool released Monday will allow Flipboard users to display their gift wish lists and highlight their favorite products in a catalog-like format. The digital catalogs include links so the products can be purchased by anyone browsing through the selections on Flipboard's application for Apple Inc.'s iPhone and iPad, as well as mobile devices running on Google Inc.'s Android operating system. Several merchants and websites, including Gap Inc.'s Banana Republic and eBay Inc., are distributing Flipboard catalogs. Flipboard's expansion into electronic commerce comes seven months after the Palo Alto, Calif., startup began to allow people to put together digital magazines on their favorite topics. Many of those magazines include digital ads.
The Walt Disney Co. is shuffling the executive ranks at its interactive division, which last week posted only its second profitable quarter since results began to be broken out in late 2008. Co-president John Pleasants is stepping down, while co-president Jimmy Pitaro is taking over. Pleasants was formerly the CEO of Playdom, the social game company Disney acquired in 2010 for $563 million. Pitaro, a former Yahoo executive, also joined Disney in 2010. In 2011, the two set a goal for the unit to be profitable in 2013. In the fourth quarter ending in September, the interactive unit had an operating profit of $16 million, but lost $87 million for the full year. Quarterly sales more than doubled to $396 million, boosted by the launch of the video game, "Disney Infinity."